Purdue shocks No. 20 Iowa
Rayburn leads Boilermakers with 23 points
The Associated Press
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue finally got the breakthrough win it has sought all season.
Brittany Rayburn scored 23 points to lead Purdue past No. 20 Iowa 60-41 on Thursday night, the Boilermakers' first win over a ranked team in more than a year.
"I think this win was very important,'' Purdue coach Sharon Versyp said. "They're a Top 20 team, they're RPI is 10. We just needed to make sure that we took care of our home court. How we handled it and how well we played, hopefully, people will look at it as a significant win.''
Rayburn made 4 of 5 3-point attempts in her second consecutive strong shooting effort after a lengthy slump. Courtney Moses had 12 points, nine rebounds and six assists for the Boilermakers (16-7, 6-4 Big Ten), who won for the fifth time in six games.
Purdue was 0-3 against ranked teams coming in, and its last victory against a Top 25 opponent came on Jan. 28, 2010, at Penn State.
The Boilermakers reached the NCAA quarterfinals in 2007 and 2009 before slipping to a losing record last season, so the win against the Hawkeyes was more of a return to normal than anything. Purdue will play at No. 11 Michigan State on Sunday with a chance at another big win and, perhaps, an opportunity to join the conference title race.
Iowa entered the game averaging 71 points, but the Hawkeyes shot 22 percent from the field and scored a season-low point total in their worst loss of the season.
Versyp said her team was focused.
"I think our defense collectively - every person played great defense, we had a great rotation, we had help on the weak side, great communication,'' she said. "So collectively, I thought we did the best that we have all year.''
Kachine Alexander had 11 points and eight rebounds for the Hawkeyes (17-6, 5-5), but she made just 3 of 14 field goal attempts. Jaime Printy, Iowa's leading scorer at 15.8 points a game, finished with seven on 2-for-9 shooting. Alexander was the only Iowa player to reach double figures.
"It's very unusual for us not to have anybody kind of be a spark on our team and be able to get rolling offensively,'' Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said.
Moses scored eight early points, then Rayburn drained a 3-pointer to give Purdue a 16-9 lead. A bucket by Chelsea Jones made it 21-11, forcing an Iowa timeout.
"I think that when we get off to a great start, we get the momentum going quick, and we're a team that can keep it going,'' Rayburn said. "I think that's huge for us.''
Purdue led 30-17 at halftime and would have led by more if not for numerous missed layups. The Boilermakers held the Hawkeyes to 18 percent shooting in the first half, and Iowa had nine turnovers and five field goals in the first 20 minutes. Iowa's struggling offense also had two shot-clock violations in the first half and went almost 10 minutes without a field goal at one point.
Rayburn scored 11 points and made three 3-pointers in the first half.
"I thought Moses took it to us with the penetration drive early, and then Brittany shot the ball extremely well tonight, and it's hard to contain both of those players,'' Bluder said.
The Boilermakers were never challenged after the break. A three-point play by Rayburn with 2:02 remaining extended the lead to 58-36.
Iowa made just 2 of 17 attempts from 3-point range and committed 21 turnovers. Bluder said Purdue had much to do with her team's struggles.
"I thought they played really well,'' he said. "I thought they came out with a great intensity and confidence and focus, like good teams do, and they played like a much better team than we did today.''